How Does The Relationship Between Language Affect English And Putonghua?

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Language played an important role in every cultural system. It affects the construction of local and national identity. Hong Kong, a multicultural city where the West meets East, Cantonese meets English and Putonghua, had a great story to tell. In this essay I am going explain how Hong Kong’s political issues and government’s policies affected the use of English, Cantonese and Putonghua, and the views of Hongkongers towards these languages. The relationship between language and identity would also be the topic to be discussed. Hong Kong, a small city located on the Southeast China, was ceded to Britain in 1842 due to the defeat of Qing government. Since then, English was the only official language of Hong Kong until the amendment of Official…show more content…
British treated this city as a money-gaining entrepôt, and Chinese from mainland just made use of Hong Kong as a transition hub to different places to the world (mostly San Francisco, Singapore and Melbourne). Only very little number of locals would regard Hong Kong as their hometown. This situation remains until 1949, the founding year of People’s Republic of China. Many anti-communist entrepreneurs and intellectuals escaped to Hong Kong. Due to geographical reason, most of them were from Guangzhou or other cities of Guangdong(Canton). Since then, Cantonese had become the dominant language of Hong Kong’s society. The new immigrants would learn Cantonese as they want to integrate with the locals. Entertainment industry flourished after two decades of germination. The movie makers started to make Cantonese movies instead of Putonghua. The masterpieces were ‘Games Gamblers Play’(鬼馬雙星) and ‘The Big Boss’ (唐山大兄), starring by Sam Hui and Bruce Lee respectively. Both movies were totally performed in Cantonese and gained huge recognition from Asian countries. For music aspect, ‘the king of Cantopop’ Sam Hui initiated the trend of creating pop songs by Cantonese. ‘My city’, a novel written by Saisai(西西) in 1974 that depicted the livelihood of Hongkongers, symbolized the rose of local identity in Hong Kong’s

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